President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, who is on a working visit to the United States, talked about Estonian ICT solutions at the World Bank on Friday.
The event called "Estonia ICT Day – Digitally Smart Solutions for Sustainable Development" also involved number of Estonian ICT leaders, who introduced the country's e-solutions.
President Ilves said that the digital development results in the better involvement of people in social processes and the distribution of innovation, which help to boost the economy. "However, having a cable is not enough to achieve these objectives; most of the work needs to be done at the level of governance, different regulations and legislation," he said.
Ilves remarked that the absence of cross-border e-services or a digital common market, which work marvellously in the US, is one of the major disadvantages for the European Union. "The problem of the European Union is the fact that we have 28 digital markets, all with different taxation systems, and this affects our economic competitiveness. Europe can no longer compete with the USA or Asia and we stand to lose hundreds of billions of dollars each year," said Ilves.
The introduction of Estonia's e-services included an overview of the country's technical solutions, such as digital identity and X-road, and the attitude that is characteristic of Estonia in general – an openness to technology and innovation.
The upcoming World Bank Development Report 2016 on Internet and Development is being prepared under the joint leadership of President Ilves and Chief Economist of the World Bank, Kaushik Basu. The report will offer Estonia a unique opportunity to share its experience of establishing an e-state and shape the mentality of the sector, particularly in developing countries and international organisations.
The report investigates how relying on information technology could influence economic growth and the efficiency of the public sector; why this has been successful in some countries and not in others; what changes would be needed in legislation, educational systems and institutions and how to influence societies towards become accepting and open to changes.
Apart from the president, presentations were given by Taimar Peterkop from the Information System Authority of Estonia, Villem Alango from Datel and the e-Governance Academy, Arne Ansper from Cybernetica, Kris Hiiemaa from Erply, Taavi Einaste from Nortal, Tiit Anmann from SignWise and Andrus Viirg from Enterprise Estonia.
Editor: S. Tambur